A Scent of New-Mown Hay by John Blackburn
With a plot featuring Cold War intrigue, Nazi mad scientists, and a pandemic that threatens to destroy humanity by mutating people into fungoid monsters, it is not hard to see why A Scent of New-Mown Hay (1958) became a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic and an instant science-fiction classic.
After a British ship's crew and a remote Russian village are wiped out in mysterious and horrible fashion, General Charles Kirk of British Foreign Intelligence sets out to investigate. As the plague spreads to England, Kirk's frantic search leads him from the desolate tundra of Russia to the ruins of a Nazi camp, the site of unthinkable wartime atrocities. But who is responsible? Is it a Soviet experiment gone horribly wrong, the work of a depraved madman, or something else entirely? And can it be stopped?
In this, his first and still best-known novel, the prolific John Blackburn (1923-1993) introduced the formula he was to employ so successfully in his career, seamlessly blending mystery, horror, and science fiction to create a thrilling bestseller that readers found impossible to put down. This edition, the first in more than thirty years, includes a new introduction by Prof. Darren Harris-Fain and a reproduction of the scarce original jacket art by Peter Curl.
"The story has a nightmarish excitement and maintains a brilliant pace . . . the best of its kind this season." - Detroit News
"[S]pine-chilling . . . a far-reaching plot linking the horror camps of the Nazis, the frozen wastes of Russia and the work of British Secret Intelligence. . . . [T]his is 'must' reading for horror fans." - Calgary Herald
"I began to read: and then read and read and read." - John Creasey, Books of the Month
"Good, insomniac science-fiction." - Listener
Introduction by Darren Harris-Fain